Patton Gets Frogs on the Scoreboard
May 31, 2001
Eugene, Oregon - Darvis Patton scored TCU's first points of the meet and the Flyin' Frogs continued to advance runners deeper into the competition as the second day of the NCAA Track and Field Championships drew to a close today at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.
Patton fouled on his first two attempts in the long jump and was in jeopardy of an early exit, but came through with a leap of 7.97 meters or 26 feet, one and three-quarters inches on his third jump to move into fourth place. That mark stood up through the remainder of the competition, earning TCU five team points.
"The pressure was on, but I knew I could get one in," said Patton. "The field wasn't jumping that good, so I thought I could get it done. I wanted third place bad. They predicted me to finish fourth and I wanted to prove them wrong, but that's what I got."
Patton had to make a quick dash from the prelims of the 100 meter dash to take his turn in the long jump.
"I was a little fatigued on the first jump," admitted the senior from Dallas, but I didn't want to pass, because this is the NCAA Championships. I had the exact same thing happen in the (NCAA) indoor meet. I'm getting kind of used to it."
Patton was one of three Horned Frogs to advance to the semifinals in the 100-meter dash. Patton finished second in his heat with a time of 10.23, just ahead of teammate Lindel Frater, who turned in a time of 10.24. They had the fifth and eighth fastest times respectively in the prelims. Senior Kim Collins also advanced to Friday's semifinal round with a 10.14 mark, the fourth fastest time overall. It was the second fastest time in his heat, behind Tennessee's Leonard Scott, who posted the second fastest wind-legal time in the world this spring at 10.05. The semifinals are set for Friday.
Eliud Njubi won his heat in the 1,500 meter run in a time of 3:43.15, advancing to Saturday's finals. Njubi has an opportunity to score points in two events, as he will compete in the finals of the 800 meters on Friday.
Freshman Reggie Harrell slipped into the semifinals of the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 13.80. He was the 16th and final runner to advance to the next round on Friday.
Jason Howard turned in a best mark of 7.47 meters or 24 feet, six and one-quarter inches to finish 16th in the long jump. He and Abdul Rasheed will take part in the triple jump on Saturday.
On the women's side, Monica Twum advanced to the semifinals in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.45. She finished third in her heat and had the ninth fastest time of the 16 runners advancing to Friday's semifinals.
In addition to the semifinals of the 100-meters and 110-meter hurdles and the finals of the 800-meter run, Friday's action will be highlighted by the finals of the 4x100-meter relay. The Frogs and Tennessee are prohibitive favorites to lead the pack in what could prove to be a key event in the team scoring. The Frogs entered the meet with the nation's fastest time, but Tennessee exploded with a 38.66 time in Wednesday's semifinals, just ahead of TCU's mark of 38.70.
"Tennessee is stepping up when they have to," said Patton. "They're running very well. But we're feeling good about ourselves. We're looking good and having fun. Coach Stratton told us the worst has already happened. We had bad things happen in `99 and in 2000 and dropped the baton in the indoor meet earlier this year. So we're just here having fun. We run better when we're loose and having fun."